Glossier’s Emily Weiss, Among the Last of the Girlbosses, Steps Down

Since then, the brand has expanded to 12 different shades, but that’s still little choice compared to the dozens of shades offered by other brands, including many newcomers.

And, most importantly, Glossier’s longstanding resistance to partnering with third-party retailers has made it increasingly difficult for the brand to organically acquire new customers using only its social and online channels — a pinch that other direct-to-consumer brands are also feeling, said Ms. Duggal. .

“The shift in the customer acquisition algorithm for paid social media is now making it very difficult to scale and find profitability,” she said, adding that selling through brick-and-mortar stores remains the biggest driver of sales across the board. Before the pandemic, 85 percent of beauty product purchases were made in brick-and-mortar stores, according to a 2020 McKinsey report† Even younger consumers made the majority of their purchases in-store.

Then, in August 2020, in the midst of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality, an anonymous letter arrived from Glossier retail employees (known internally as “editors”) alleging a racist, toxic work environment. .

Management was “ill-equipped to lead a diverse team through the unique stressors of working in an experiential store”, the letter reads:† When customers were hostile to store staff, including during incidents where a man massaged a staff member without her permission or when white teens played with the “darkest complexion products in a happy black face,” store staff expected “no intervention and little recourse—not even reassurance of our safety.”

At the time, several other founders in the original class of girl bosses had come under scrutiny, with current and former employees accusing them of aggressive and, in some cases, abusive leadership styles (control that male chief executives and founders have often avoided). Away, Ms. Korey’s company, banned employees from emailing each other and restricted employees’ paid time off, The Verge reported† Away said it wanted employees to communicate through Slack instead, for reasons of “transparency.”


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